Citation software can go by many names: citation managers, citation generators, reference management software, bibliographic management tools, etc. While the name may vary, they do have some common elements including the main function of collecting and organizing citations. Most of these software packages also allow for the creation of works cited or references lists in a variety of formats and styles. The ability to integrate with word processing software is a key feature of many of the more popular citation software.
Citation generators are tools that automatically create citations for your research materials.
Citation managers not only generate citations automatically but also help you collect, organize, store and often share your research materials.
A multitude of citation software exists including free and paid options. RefWorks and EndNote are popular retail citation software in use at colleges and universities. Some popular free software includes Zotero and Mendeley. Note, while these latter are free, they do offer additional features and/or storage for a fee.
As these tools are becoming more popular it is important to note that they have limitations and should not be used in isolation. The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries recommends that all citations should be checked for accuracy using either the MLA or APA citation format.
The libraries' support two free citation managers: EndNote Basic and Zotero. Click on these links for helpful library guides on how to use these tools. We encourage you to choose whichever one best meets your needs. Check out the comparison charts below to help you make your decision.
The University of Nevada, Reno does not provide access to any of the proprietary citation management tools (e.g., EndNote, RefWorks).
Please be aware that automatically generated citations may not provide accurate results. If you choose to use a citation software product, take the time to make the necessary corrections using the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries MLA online citation guide. Remember: It is your responsibility to double-check the results!
Here is a selection of popular citation generators.
Example: ProQuest databases